‘SOMETHING FOR THE WEEKEND?’
RECORD OF THE WEEK
OUT now from Kilkenny’s genre-blending project TANOKI, is the breath-taking trip-hop, experimental, psychedelic, ambient debut album, ‘File New.’
The brainchild of Paul Mahon, the songs blend human samples, rich synths and washed-out arpeggios.
“It’s about experimenting. It’s about having fun, it’s about play,” he said.
And he’s summed it up perfectly.
The album navigates the current state of humanity and technology, the strange mix of blessings and curses it bestows upon us – all through a daring gauntlet run, beginning with lush and inviting collaborations with Libyan-Irish songwriter Farah Elle, before moving into increasingly experimental territory, with contributions from Colm O’Caoimh (violin, guitar, and keys) and rap from Tay Edwards.
The result is constantly hypnotically, engaging as the debut LP tells a three-act story, each with three songs.
The first act introduces the question at the heart of the project, concerning what is real and what is fantasy. The second begins to explore this with urgency, and then chaos, with intense performances from Tay Edwards and Farah Elle.
The final act invites self-reflection, with stunning violin and piano improvisation from Colm O’Caoimh, and a technological climax on fiery closing gem, ‘Hotline.’
T W O
SOMETHING new has emerged, formed to honour the halcyon days of the nuttiest sound around.
But don’t for one second imagine a novelty, Madness tribute act, for although Sweden’s ‘G-MEN’ draw their inspiration from the height of the Two-Tone era, theirs is a sound all of their own.
“The story is short when it comes to G-MEN and our songs as the group has only been around for eight months,” said founder Mike Bonanza.
“But it all started years ago with me sitting by my radio tape recorder, waiting for a great new song to be played and record it on a cassette, hopefully without the DJ ruining it with talking too much. And one day, there was a song called ‘My Girl’ by this band called Madness, and my first thought was, ‘wow!’
“And it’s still wow! It totally knocked me off my feet.
“I’ve been playing guitar in some bands over the years, playing different kind of music, but the ‘nuttiest sound around’ has always been there with me and last year I released a song and since then, ‘nutty tunes’ have come to me one after another.
“Nowadays I also have a co-writer who I met on Twitter, Phil J Schuyler, from Morecambe Bay in England. He’s an excellent lyricist and we’re now writing songs all the time.
“We just love the sound and think there’s no reason to play Madness covers, we do great songs, but ones that may remind you of Madness, but this is not a copycat band, we just want to honour that nutty sound and fill in the blanks.
“I mean, some people might think Madness don’t release new songs often enough, so that’s where G-MEN come in. That’s one reason anyway, and another is we don’t sound like any other ska band around.”
If you’re keen to know more, check out G-MEN’s Bandcamp site, where they have recently released a song for free.
T H R E E
FROM Brighton’s ‘Lights and Lines Music Collective and Independent Record Label,’ comes a collection of past grievances retold, along with new tales shared for the first time.
‘Digital Throw Up Parts 1 + 2,’ includes nods from Derry-based GRIM17 (Laurence McDaid) to a variety of electro, alternative, folk, and industrial influences, whilst maintaining his own independence and style.
It’s a confident, polished release, including enough influences to occupy even the most demanding lover of music.
“Some of my influences would be, Tom Waits, The Blade Runner Soundtrack, Now That’s What I Call Music! 29, and the theme tune from ‘Dogtanian, and the Three Muskehounds,” said McDaid.
“The first half of the album – which I released as a standalone EP back in 2013 – was mostly recorded and finalised while I was living with my sister for a very short period after a very bad breakup. I then went through a few different things that led to the intense need to take five years off to go drinking.
“When I came back to making music, I recorded an EP I thought would be the perfect ‘part two’ to the one I released in 2013, at which point Mike (from the ‘Lights and Lines Music Collective,’) put me into his specialised studio/cage and forced me to put both parts together as an album while he looked on in maniacal glee with feverish dollar signs in his eyes!”
‘Part 1’ is GRIM17’s 2013 debut EP, now lovingly remastered for 2021. It’s deeply personal, focusing on feelings of depression, self-loathing, and the despair of feeling life was falling apart. ‘Part 2’ is a brand-new collection of songs about coming to in a world that appears hostile and hard to recognise.
BANDCAMP: Music | GRIM17 (bandcamp.com)
F O U R
RELEASED today on Cardiff’s ‘Bubblewrap Collective Label,’ RITUAL CLOAK follow-up an ambitious year of releases (Divine Invasions, A Human Being is the Best Disguise & Orange Crush) with a collaboration between the duo and photographer Michal Iwanowski, the yearning new single, ‘Witaj w Domu.’
‘Witaj w Domu was recorded during the ‘Divine Invasions sessions, but many believed the track deserved to stand alone. Having been inspired by Iwanowski’s photographic project, ‘Go Home Polish,’ Ritual Cloak composed a piece of music in response, inviting Iwanowski to contribute spoken word, drawn from writings of his 1900km journey between his two homes – Wales and Poland.
Michal narrates three stories, all different, yet all similar and asks, just like the photographic project, ‘where is home?’
“The title of the song was inspired by images of Michal’s mother and family awaiting his return as he walked the final stretch towards the family home in Poland, holding the sign ‘Witaj w Domu,’ (Welcome Home). We wanted the title to completely contrast the hostility of the graffiti that Michal felt compelled to respond to. The composition even features audio sampled from a live streamed video of his arrival at his family home. The sounds and voices of his family played a key part in closing the track as these are the people that mean the most to Michal, especially the sound of Michal’s mum’s laugh weaving between the piano notes that brings an emotional texture.” – Ritual Cloak.
‘Witaj w Domu’ is now available on all streaming services via Bubblewrap Collective and presented in three different versions, English, Polish and instrumental.
F I V E
‘100 Million Ways To Die’ is the first single from indie band PolSky’s forthcoming record, released via, ‘Disruptive Element Music.’
The track has been synced to Apple TV’s high-profile production, ‘WeCrashed,’ and will feature prominently in Episode 6, ‘Caviar,’ broadcast next week.
While the track may sound nihilistic, it delivers an exuberantly positive and therapeutic take.
“100 Million Ways to Die was written as a rallying cry of liberation, to fully live one’s life despite living in a genuinely frightening world,” said frontman and songwriter, Kris Warren.
PolSky was formed by Warren whose career began under the wing of Cocteau Twins’ Robin Guthrie, whilst working in their September Sound studio. He paid close attention to Guthrie’s production and writing techniques while absorbing ideas from sessions with Echo and the Bunnymen, Terry Hall, Nick Lowe, and Billy Mackenzie.
During the noughties, Kris joined agit-pop group BiB on guitar, honing his stage craft on the London live circuit, culminating in a U.K. tour with The XX Teens, and an NME single of the week.
‘100 Million Ways to Die’ is the first release to be taken from the debut album written in response to the last couple of years, a time when existential anxiety and the idea of death have not been far from our peripheral vision. The upbeat message of the track is that once we find ways to acknowledge and accept those fears, we can live life to the full.
PolSky online: www.PolSky.net
(Fancy a feature in a future edition of ‘Something For The Weekend?’ Well, get in touch, tell us why we should include you, and we’ll see what we can do.)